Increasing Our Love
1 John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
Jeremiah 31:3: The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
God loves us 24/7. He deserves our love 24/7. Here on earth we fall far short of what He deserves. When we get to Heaven we will be able to love Him 24/7. It is impossible for us to love Him too much, here on earth or in Heaven.
Romans 5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
I believe that God*s love in our hearts is a somewhat like a seed. It will not reach full size until we get to Heaven. But it should not lie dormant in us until we die and go to Heaven. It should grow. So how does love grow? God Himself makes it grow.
1 Thessalonians 3:12: And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
Paul prayed for the Thessalonians* love to increase and abound. If the love of the Thessalonians could increase and abound as a result of prayer, surely Paul would pray that his own love would increase and abound. Each believer ought to ask the Lord to increase his own love and that of others and cause it to abound.
The more we see His undeserved love for us, the more we become able to give Him the love that He deserves. The more we see of His undeserved mercy, the more we become able to love Him. The more we see of His work in the Creation, the more we become able to love Him. The more we see of His work in ourselves and our lives, the more we become able to love Him.
1 John 3:1a: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: . . .
Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Galatians 5:22a: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . .
Fruit grows, multiplies and ripens. Growing the fruit of the Spirit is not seasonal, it is continual. It is never over-ripe. It never decays or rots like the fruit of trees. It should increase until the day a Christian dies. I am sure you have noticed some mature Christians who have loved you more than new believers. I have. It is strange indeed when we encounter one who has been a Christian for decades but is bitter, aloof and hard-hearted toward others. He has become more self-centered rather than more unselfish. He has not been a good husbandman of the seeds the Lord has planted in him. He has not been wise enough to perceive and enjoy the undeserved work of God in his person and his life. Growing love does not distance us from one another. It removes the barriers between us. A hard Christian has over-valued his own part in God*s accomplishments and under-valued God*s part in those accomplishments. Knowing that we are all like that at times should also increase our love for God.